There is a place where I would like to make a new bee yard, problem there is a posibility of black bears visiting. I remember when I was young my father cursed more than once when arriving in a yard finding trails of combs through the bush. When we use to take supers off one would sit on the roof of the truck with the shotgun (sort of like the granny in the beverly hillbillys)lol . I remember he used an electric fence ,but are there other alternatives or do I stick with this?
Go to the home page and pick search. From the search page search all the archives for "bears" and/or "bear" and you'll find many discussions on the subject. I'm afraid a good electric fence is the only really good option and many of the details will be in those discussions.
Thanks Michael ,I've noticed that you've anwsered many questions in the past .They must call you the "dean" of this program . I know some people put there hives inside barns and remove a couple of planks for the entrance, like it's done in europe... but I will definately go to the search...
I certainly don't feel qualified to speak on dealing with bears since I've never had to deal with them. But this has been discussed in much detail many times before.
As suggested do a search for bears.
Bears can be dealt with, but should be taken into consideration along with other factors when deciding on a yard.
I have my yards with high bear populations around, they can cause problems, but they can be managed.
I Keep all my hives on roofs now since I lost half of them to bears this spring
Is spring the worst time for bears? I'm moving a bunch to the mountains where there are quite a lot of bears...but I was under the impression that fall was the worst time for bears...
Fall they are having their last meals before hibernation for the winter. Spring they haven't eaten in three months. I'm guessing winter is the least problem (hibernating) followed by summer with lots of problems in the spring and fall.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I live in an area that has at least 3 black bears in the neighborhood. The only effective way to protect the hives is with a good electric fence.
The sheep or goat type fence is real good but expensive. I use three wires, the first about 10 inches off the ground, then every 12 to 18 inches. Be sure it is wide enough that the bear cannot reach over the wire and tip a hive over.
A little trick I learned was to add strips of bacon to the lower wire, the bear will either smell or lick the bacon before getting to the bees, when he gets a jolt he will never bother again.
Another important aspect is the grounding of the charger. Make sure you have at least (2) 8 foot ground rods hooked in to the system. If you are in an area that has Little moisture in the ground you can lay chicken wire around the outside of the fence and connect the ground to the wire. The bear will be standing on the chicken wire when he reaches the hot wire.
I managed to ellude the bears for two years, this year a young bear got under my fence in one area that was not protected to 10 inches. He didn't do much damage, but I was lucky. Other then that one time I have not had any problems, and the bears are all around the house. Just ask my wife she has a knack of finding them on her walks
When bears are active they can and will get into the hives.
In the spring it is usually because they stumbled over the hive. The hive does not have a very strong oder for the bear to zero in on.
In the summer and fall the curing of nectar will bring the bears in.
A good electric fence, that is baited will usually do the trick.
I guess I'll tell granny toput the shotgun away and go get a pound of bacon. While I run to the local co-op to get me a good old electric fence... How much should I expect to pay?
Thanks for the input,much appreciated
I figure that it cost me about $450.00 USD to put up a fence.
Don't go cheap on the charger as that is the driving force, but also most of the cost.
I have used "T" posts on yards as well as locost post.
Your not going to be able to put up a fence that will keep the bears out wihout the shock. So "T" posts and good bait seems to work well.
Remember not to set your yard up with large over hanging branches that a bear could use to get around the fence.
My knowledge of electric fences is more from horses and cattle than bears, but the number of "miles" the fence is rated at seems to be as useful as anything at rating it's power. While joules is supposed to be the measurement of that it doesn't seem to be as meaningful as it should be. I'd go for the strongest one you can afford. Solar ones are available so you don't need electricity or replacement batterys.
its been 3 or 4 years since my one and only bear attack. i went right out and bought the most powerful solar charger i could find, put up the fence and hung the bacon. i did not have another attack. dont know if it paid off or if i've just been lucky.
last year i took my fence down to rework the stands and mow....never put it back up.
monday, opening day of deer season here, wile standing on my deck talking to acouple a hunters a bear ran by a couple of hundred yards away, about a hundred yards from my hives.
maybe this spring i better put it back up......
I am a bear out fitter,have bees in bear country.They are bad all year long.Yes the fence is the only answer,except,steel posts and a platform.Electric wire one bottom is good cause thy stand up and try to shake the plat form.